A woman got the surprise of her life when her biological son turned up at the marathon she was running thirty-five years after she gave him up for adoption.
Stacey Faix of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, gave birth at the age of fifteen and made the heartbreaking decision to give her baby boy up for adoption.
Her son was eventually adopted and named Stephen Strawn, as reported by ABC News. He went on to live in Ohio and even served in the U.S. Military.
Amazingly, after years of searching, he finally found his biological mother, meeting her face-to-face after thirty-five years in an emotional reunion.
Strawn had been trying to track down his birth mother for years but was never able to find her.
The veteran told ABC: "I've looked for years. It's been dead ends."
His attempts to find his biological mom was made all the more difficult by the fact his birth records were lost in a flood. But after a new law passed in 2017 allowing adoptees to request their original birth certificates, Strawn was finally able to find his long-lost mother.
On April 16th, 2018, he finally had his answer. But rather than reaching out to her directly, Strawn decided to surprise her, and he chose the Pittsburgh half marathon event to do it.
He learned in his research that his mom, Stacey Faix, was a member of Pittsburgh's chapter of Team Red, White, and Blue (RWB), a group that supports veterans, and since Strawn is a member of the Ohio chapter himself, he got in touch with the Pittsburgh chapter's president to set up a surprise reunion.
On the day of the race, Faix was given a mysterious card while she was preparing for the race to start. Inside the card, Strawn's message read: "It's been 13,075 days since you last saw me. I didn't want to make you wait one more."
When Faix realized what this meant, she turned around to come face-to-face with her son. They instantly embraced in an emotional hug as people watched in amazement.
It's clear just how much it meant to both Faix and Strawn to be able to finally embrace each other.
"They didn't want me to hold him, they didn't recommend it," Faix told WTAE. "So I finally got to hold him."
The pair later ran the race together and have promised to stay in touch with one another.
Strawn has also been able to meet his sisters and other biological family members, finally giving him answers to a mystery that has spanned thirty-five years.
"It's something you see in the movies," Strawn told ABC News. "Everything was perfect."
"For the parents, who had to give up their children for whatever reason, don't lose hope," Faix added.
We're not crying, you are...